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Clone of large hard drive takes to long

Posted on 2013-01-10
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I have some (off-domain) laptops with 452 Gig hard drives that need to be cloned. I tried cloning one yesterday using drive image XML and it was only 20 percent done after 8 hours. When the drives were smaller this was not a problem. Anyone have an idea for me on how I can get these drives cloned faster? I am not interested in Windows Imaging for this particular issue.
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Question by:tfgeorge
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by:CSIPComputing
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Check if you're doing a Sector-by-sector clone (which will do every byte, even if it's empty)  This will get slower the larger the hard drive is.

If you do only a "used space" clone, then it'll be faster.

If Drive Image XML can't go faster, consider something such as Acronis, which can do things significantly faster.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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I previously used Acronis, but now like Casper better:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/
I use Casper on several 500GB drives every day (a scheduled task runs a clone in the wee hours on several machines). The first time may take a couple of hours, but no more than that, and after the first time, it is significantly faster. For example, last night, the three clones of 500GB drives took 5, 6, and 9 minutes. I can also report that the clones have saved me on more than one occasion! Regards, Joe
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by:rindi
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How are you using DriveImage XML to do your cloning and how is the 2nd drive connected?

U would attach both disks to a desktop PC internally and then clone them, as the internal interface will be faster than USB 2. Or if your laptops have USB 3 capability, clome them to a disk using a USB 3 Dock. This will increase the speed. Also, use the utility from a LiveCD or another tool that boots separately, as it will also be faster than when you've started it from within the OS you are cloning.

Apart from that, as far as I know, DriveImageXML makes images, not clones...

I use CloneZilla, included on the PartedMagic LiveCD for such tasks (it can image and clone):

http://partedmagic.com
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by:tfgeorge
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Rindi, does imaging take a lot longer? What is the difference?

I am booting to a boot disk and imaging to a flash drive. I think going to a faster spinning disk removable hdd would help a lot too.
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rindi earned 500 total points
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Cloning is making a 1:1 copy of a disk to another, so you can just replace the original disk with the cloned one. The PC should then boot normally from the cloned disk. When you image you create an image file of your original disk. In order to be able to actually use that you'll have to restore the image to a new disk first. Imaging probably takes more time, as it usually also compresses does compression which can slow down the process.

You will definitely get more speed using a real disk, and don't use USB 2, as that is what slows you down. You will probably also get higher speeds if you image to a network location, particularly if you use a GB LAN.
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